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Monday, August 11, 2014

Making it come to life

The biggest problem so far, visually, is that the world has appeared too empty. In a way, that was intentional, as the fundamental story of the game is about the main character bringing the world back to its feet. In our 2D arrangement, the emptiness was a little bit more bearable, I think, with the lovely parallax effects adding a certain abstract heart to each scene. 

Unfortunately, it was harder to get a similar effect in Unity without increasing the visible distance to insane lengths, so the world ended up just looking a bit bland. It left us with only one course of action, to rethink how the world itself should "work", ie, what should fill its spaces? In the original design document, any organic material (wood, etc) had long been faded away into dust. Now though, we've gotten a little more liberal with the idea of a dead world.



Rocks, wood, houses, and even whatever is used on the blades of a windmill, all managed to survive the fictional apocalypse. 

The game hasn't changed though. The message still remains. Stuff's never hopeless.

Also, I've been working on a short video showing some diversity in the Sprout scenes. Take a look!


Don't forget to share and tweet and retweet and follow and watch and like and uh, you know, all that good stuff.

Also, please have a look at our IndieDB page. The more views we get there, the greater our chances for exposure!

Sprout's Tale

Monday, July 14, 2014

New Artist, New Art, New News

Computer's still pretty much broken. It's in the shop now to replace the power jack, but it should be back on my table in a couple of days. In the meantime, things have kind of slowed. I'm still trying to work, but pretty much all I can do is sketch levels down on paper.

Oh well, at least that's something.

Murilo put together a cute little diorama using his new assets, have a look:



You can see an interactive version of this little set here

 We've also added a new artist to our roster. Parker B is an extremely talented individual with professional experience in the industry, and, best of all, he's really excited to start working on Sprout's Tale. Check out his portfolio here!

Meanwhile, I've whiteboxed a new level for Parker to start working on. It's got caves and darkness and exploding enemies and fire enemies and lotsa scary stuff. For now though, it looks thoroughly un-scary.


We've also got some mysterious new bugs to work out (nothing new there, eh?), but it shouldn't be too much trouble.

Anyway. Til next time. Follow watch like love share etc. We love you. Stay with us.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Developing test levels

The past few weeks have been pretty crazy, but we've found time for Sprout in the little corners of time between sleep and all our other responsibilities. Well, I've been working at putting together some later levels and testing them to make sure all our features work. We're very nearly at a place where we could make the entire game with the code we have finished. Whenever we run into problems, Miahi is always quick to work it out and fix it.

If we did have to end up making the whole game with what was there now, I think it would be missing a lot of its charm, but it would be playable and fun, at least. In any case, the demo's looking very good. It's fun.


Also, the video I promised last week is ready to go, but I need to rerecord the audio on it because I was getting some weird background noises when I did it initially.

Frankly, I'm too tired to do it now! Tomorrow, probably!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Little Update

Just a little update as to what's going on and why things seem to have stagnated. First of all, they haven't. We're continuing to do a lot of work behind the scenes, mostly fixing and reordering things but Murilo's also still at work giving the game a proper look. It's starting to look very professional. Below are a couple of things that ought to be used to clutter up the scenery (in a good way.)

 

So far this week, I've fixed a bunch of little camera problems, redone the actual camera default setting to bring the character closer, and squashed in some bits of the level so that things aren't quite so spread out.

Mihai's working on some last minute bugs. We hope to have the beautified level playable relatively shortly.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sick week, great stuff.

I am damn exhausted. I've spent the last two weeks being sick as a dog. Some kind of flu. Finally starting to clear up but man has been hard to keep my eyes on a screen. What's worse, even miracle programmer programmer, despite being some thousands of miles away, managed to get sick too!

They say people always get sick when the weather changes. Each year I am more and more inclined to believe them.

That being said, this post is gonna be pretty short, and, to be frank, I'm pretty much only doing it out of necessity. I've read a bunch of times that leaving a blog more than a week without a post is a kiss of death for it showing up on search engines. Unfortunately that sometimes happens here, but that's just life. We're a busy trio, managing jobs, families, and Sprout's Tale. It's tough going.

We've started testing and are moving into our second, slightly slightly slightly less exclusive round this week. Even though we already know of several problems that need to be fixed, it's safe to say there are still several more. For example, magic vines grow on nothing! Oopsy!


The moving platforms can still get a bit wonky, too. 


Maybe if we add a little squish sound effect, we can just pretend he's in the mud?

Lastly, there's a problem with the tree colliders. We can't use a mesh collider and specific shape colliders don't really match the shape of the tree so I'm kind of at a loss about what to do. I've been secretly scratching my head over it for a long time. If any of you Unity folk  have any ideas about how to fix what you see below, please chime in!


Some more interesting news: Some of you may remember this picture: 

This was one of Sprout Tale's original concept pictures (done, like everything else, by the ruggedly handsome Murilo Kleine). Well, Murilo's been working recently to make at least a part of that come back into the picture:


Once textured, I think this will help add in some sense of mystery about what the heck a boat is doing broken down at the top of a mountain!


Murilo's also been toying around with lighting in the scene to make sure we get exactly what we are looking for. You can also see lots of little items around the houses to help feed our player's eyes.

Unfortunately, the demo we are currently testing will not be using this beautiful stuff, but the demo we're going to use to actually promote the game most definitely WILL!

Oh, I guess I said this was going to be short. I'm a big fat liar. Sorry!

Stay tuned. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

On Deadlines

Okay, this is a hard one to write because it means accepting defeat and admitting to mistakes.

So, let's get that tough part over with right away: I promised a playable demo a week ago, and I didn't deliver it. The truth was that I had the level pretty much all ready to go and looking very playable, and apart from some minor jumping issues, I was happy with it. And more importantly, I so desperately wanted to move forward.

So, drunk with desperation, I announced to the few followers paying attention that, come hell or high-water, I was going to give something to them to play.

The Monday came and went without a peep. On Tuesday I managed to muster up the character to admit to needing more time, and the following Monday (today) I give you this.

So what's going on? Well, a few things: First, my intoxication (metaphorical, not literal!) period is over, and I'm back to seeing things realistically. The truth is that calling something finished just because you're ready for it to be doesn't make it so. Our little game was missing it's GUI, had some bad framerate problems, was getting some menacing exceptions from the enemy behavior, and there were some sound effects and animations missing. Pathetic!

Maybe I could have still given the thing out, unfinished, to a select few, but it would have just felt wrong. So here I stand, er, sit, hat in hand, begging your forgiveness. I'm afraid we still need more time.

But it'll be worth it! Murilo, as usual, has been hard to work on making the level more professional. This is the truth thing that I think we are waiting for and it is really going to make all the difference. Have a look at a preview render of the scene:



Versus the original:


It's a huge difference.

We've also since added the GUI in and a push animation, which you can see here:


Lower left is a death counter, we're missing the animation. The box is a placeholder, too, it'll be replaced with a kind of totem. Also you can see I need to fix the particle on the box so that it changes direction and side depending on the motion of the box! ALSO the pink water is just a placeholder!

Anyway, so the point is, lots and lots to do, but we're really close, I promise, and those select few of you who we trust and love will have first dibs on telling us all the things we did wrong!

Til next time, don't forget to Tweet Share +1 Like Follow etc etc etc.